Will I.N.D.I.A. stop BJP juggernaut in Northeast?


As the Bharatiya Janata Party has continued to expand its footprint in the north-east, it will be looking forward to continuing with its dominance, while the INDIA bloc which is aiming to stop the BJP juggernaut from seeking a third consecutive term, will try to inflict as much damage as possible to the ruling party in the region.

The eight north-eastern states — Assam, Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh – are currently in the first phase of polls, either fully or in phase.


The north-eastern state that sends the maximum number of MPs to the Lok Sabha — 14, undergoes polls in three phases starting on April 19. Out of 14, five seats will go to polls tomorrow namely: Dibrugrah, Jorhat, Lakhimpur, Kaziranga and Sonitpur.

BJP is contesting on 11 out of 14 seats in Assam, while its ally parties, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), are contesting in two seats (Barpeta and Dhubri) and UPPL in one seat (Kokrajhar), respectively.

Among the seats going to poll in the first phase Jorhat and Dibrugarh are of most significance because of high-profile contests on the seats.

While in Jorhat, Congress leader Gaurav Gogoi has decided to challenge BJP MP Topon Kumar Gogoi, the Dibrugarh presents another big clash with former Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal taking on INDIA candidate Lurinjyoti Gogoi.

Notably, the BJP has expanded its footprint in the state. From winning 5 seats in Assam in 2009, it has risen to 7 in 2014 and 9 in 2019. The party is also in power in the state since 2016.


Voting to elect the only MP Mizoram sends to the Parliament is taking place in the first phase on April 19.

Mizo National Front (MNF), which currently holds the seat, has fielded Vanlalvena this time from the only seat the state sends to the Parliament.

In 2019, MNF’s C Lalrosanga won the seat against the INC’s Lalnghinglova Hmar by a margin of 8140 votes.

Candidates of several major parties in the poll fray in the state, eyeing the sole LS seat; including Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM)’s Richard Vanlalhmangaiha, Bharatiya Janata Party’s Lalbiakzama, Mizo National Front’s K Vanlalvena and Mizoram People’s Conference (MPC), which has fielded Rita Malsawmi.

The election comes in wake of issues of border fencing with Myanmar and suspension of Free Movement Regime between New Delhi and Naypyidaw.

These issues are expected to play big role as in February, the Mizoram Assembly unanimously passed a resolution opposing the Centre’s decision to fence the India-Myanmar border and scrap the Free Movement Regime (FMR) with the neighbouring country.

Earlier, the Ministry of Home Affairs announced for “immediate suspension of Free Movement Regime (FMR)” between India and Myanmar to ensure the internal security of the country and to maintain the demographic structure of India’s north-eastern states bordering Myanmar.

In this regard, Union Home Minister Amit Shah also announced that the government has decided to construct a fence along the entire 1643-kilometre-long Indo-Myanmar border to facilitate better surveillance and ensure a patrol track along the border.

The assembly polls were also conducted recently in the state, in which ZPM-led by Lalduhawma overthrew the MNF rule by registering a massive victory winning 27 out of 40 seats.


The state of Tripura is another crucial front in the north-east, where the BJP will be looking forward to continue its recent momentum.

There are two parliamentary seats in Tripura. The West Tripura parliamentary constituency will go to the polls on April 19 and polling for East Tripura is slated on April 26.

Notably, BJP won both seats in the 2019 elections. The party is also in power in the state since 2018, when it formed the government under the leadership of Biplab Deb.

The party decided to change the Chief Minister in 2022, and Manik Saha took over the post. BJP also won the 2023 assembly elections in the state winning 32 out of 60 seats.

This time, BJP has fielded a strong face in former Chief Minister Biplab Deb from West Tripura. He is up against Congress’ Asish Kumar Saha, who left BJP in 2022 and was made party’s state chief.

Tripura Chief Minister Manik Saha said this week that 2024 Lok Sabha elections holds high significance in re-electing Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister for a third term and in making a corruption-free and developed nation.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, recently emphasised the importance of north-east region and said that it is an issue of ‘priority’ for him and not just ‘poltiics’.

“North East plays a major role in making India ‘Viksit’. After years of Independence and during the rule of Congress justice was not done with the capabilities of the states in North East.

Communists ruled in Tripura and they just destroyed the people of Tripura. But, today in Delhi there is a government that continuously thinks about North East and Tripura. North East ‘mere liye politics ka nahi, prem aur prathmikta ka vishay hai,” he said during a rally in Agartala.

Arunachal Pradesh

The state of Arunachal Pradesh also presents a high-profile contest with Union Minister Kiren Rijiju in the poll fray.

The state has two parliamentary constituencies, Arunachal East and Arunachal West. The Assembly elections will be held concurrently with the Lok Sabha elections for these two seats in Arunachal on April 19. The votes will be counted on June 4.

The Minister of Earth Sciences is up against Nabam Tuki from the Indian National Congress (INC).

Rijiju, a prominent figure in Arunachal Pradesh politics, has held this seat since 2014. Meanwhile, Nabam Tuki, a veteran leader and former state chief minister, is the candidate representing the Congress.

BJP won one seat in 2014 while upped its tally and came out victorious on both seats in 2019.

The state is going to polls at a time when neighbouring China has came up with its co-called renaming of 30 places in the state.

Beijing’s action has received strong condemnation from New Delhi. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar have repeatedly asserted that irrespective of what China does, Arunchal Pradesh is and will remain an ‘integral’ part of India.


Sikkim is another state which undergoes Lok Sabha elections and assembly polls simultaneously on April 19.

In 2019, Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM)’s Indra Hhang Subba won the lone Lok Sabha seat from the state in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. The SKM also won 17 out of 32 seats in the Assembly polls while the Sikkim Democratic Front won 15 seats.

This time, SKM has repeated Subba from the seat. BJP has fielded Dinesh Chandra Nepal while the Congress candidate from the seat is Gopal Chhetri. SDF, on the other hand, has fielded Prem Das Rai.


Meghalaya has two Lok Sabha constituencies: Shillong and Tura, and polling is underway in both the places.

Key political parties and alliances in Meghalaya include the INDIA bloc represented by the Indian National Congress, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), and the Regional Democratic Alliance.

The state will witness a multi-cornered contest for its two Lok Sabha seats, with 10 candidates vying for victory. The BJP is not contesting and NDA will be represented by National People’s Party (NPP).

In 2019, Congress’ Vincent Pala and National People’s Party candidate Agatha Sangma won the two seats in the state.

This time Congress has repeated Pala from Shillong and fielded Saleng Sangma from Tura.

NPP has repeated Agatha Sangma from Tura and fielded Mazel Ampareen Lyngdoh from Shillong.

TMC has also fielded its candidate Zenith M Sangma from the Tura constituency.


The state of Nagaland sends only one MP to the Lok Sabha. In 2019, the NDPP-BJP coalition secured a significant victory over the Indian National Congress, emerging as the winner.

The seat is currently being held by Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party candidate Tokheho Yepthomi.

However, he has not been repeated from the seat. NDPP has fielded Chumben Murry as the NDA candidate from the seat. The Congress party has fielded Supongmeren Jamir from the seat.

Earlier, BJP exuded confidence that their alliance would register a huge victory from the lone seat.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had visited Kohima as part of his Bharat Jodo Naya Yatra in January this year.


The north-eastern state, which has been grappling with ethnic violence for close to a year, will also participate in the country’s festival of democracy, but in a special manner.

Manipur will poll in two phases, with Inner Manipur voting on April 19 and Outer Manipur in both phases, on April 19 and 26.

While there is no official word on the rationale behind holding the polls in Outer Manipur in both the phases, it is believed that the decision was taken after assessing security concerns in the violence-hit state.

A total of 15 assembly segments will see polling for the Lok Sabha on April 19, while another 13 assembly segments will poll on April 26.

Significantly, the district of Churachandpur, which was epicentre of the ethnic violence that erupted last year, leaving many dead while displacing still more in the face of rampant violence and arsoning, will also go to polls in the opening phase on April 19.

Currently, the two constituencies are held by Minister of State Rajkumar Ranjan Singh (Inner Manipur) and Naga People Front’s Lorho Phoze (Outer Manipur).

This time, however, the NPF is going into the polls as a partner in the BJP-led NDA. The BJP, earlier, announced its support for NPF candidate for Outer Manipur, Kachui Timothy Zimik.

Zimik is up against Congress MLA Alfred K Arthur, who is the joint Opposition candidate of the INDIA bloc.

BJP has fielded Thounaojam Basanta Kumar Singh from Inner Manipur and decided against repeating its MoS Rajkumar Ranjan Singh. He is up against Congress’ Angomcha Bimol Akoijam.

The 2024 Lok Sabha elections to elect the 543 members of the 18th Lok Sabha will be held in seven phases, from April 19 to June 1. The results will be announced on June 4.

The Bharatiya Janata party will aim to hold and expand its dominance in the north-east while seeking a third consecutive term at the Centre.

In its election manifesto, the party has said that it will continue its effective efforts to establish peace in the North-East and phase out the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act.

“We will continue our efforts to address the issues in the disturbed areas and remove AFSPA in a phased manner. We will further work towards the resolution of inter-state border disputes amongst Northeastern states through sustained efforts,” the party said in its manifesto.

Meanwhile, the INDIA bloc, mainly led by Congress, will be looking to inflict some damage to NDA in these states riding on regional issues especially the situation in Manipur. (ANI)

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